The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing | Press secretary says Trump 'happy' to see it | Trump allies mull how to quash impeachment | Poll shows independents more supportive of impeachment | White House defends Trump's 'scum' remark | Cummings lies in state at Capitol | Republican Meadows offers emotional tribute | Obama to speak at funeral | Romney's fights with Trump rankle GOP colleagues



Omg, I am so sorry I called you ‘scum’!

I meant ‘human scum of the earth’:

This morning, White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamPence names new press secretary McEnany: Prayer 'made a lot of difference' in 2016 election McEnany stamps her brand on White House press operation MORE said President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE does not regret calling “Never Trump” Republicans “human scum” because, she argued, they “deserve strong language like that.” 

Grisham said on “Fox & Friends”: “The people who are against him, and who have been against him and working against him since the day they took office are just that. It is horrible that people are working against a president who’s delivering results for this country and has been since day one.”



On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted, “The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats. Watch out for them, they are human scum!”

Trump kept going, but that tweet gives you the gist. Here’s the full series of tweets if you want to see:



GOP Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: National Portrait Gallery's Kim Sajet says this era rewiring people's relationship with culture, art; Trump's war with Twitter heats up Cheney says Trump should stop tweeting Scarborough conspiracy Trump again tweets about Scarborough conspiracy, despite heavy criticism MORE (Ill.), a House Foreign Affairs Committee member, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: "To call anybody human scum is beneath the office of the presidency. You can't say that, right? You're the president. You have different standards.” Watch Kinzinger’s full remarks:


It’s Thursday — Christmas Eve is two months from today! Sorry if I just stressed you out. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: I will be off Friday for a long weekend! The Hill’s Reid Wilson will be taking the reins tomorrow. See you on Monday!





*Cue Jon Snow’s voice* ‘STORM THE SCIF’:
A few dozen Republicans stormed closed-door impeachment testimony yesterday as a protest to the inquiry, causing chaos and delaying a hearing from a top Pentagon official.

What is this ‘SCIF’ I keep hearing of?: A sensitive compartmented information facility. Basically, it’s a secure room for private congressional testimony. Everything you need to know about the SCIF:

Here is video of Republicans storming the room:



From the White House: "I’m glad they did it. The Dems have been doing everything behind closed doors and in secret and so it’s about time somebody made a very bold stand, which is I guess a sit-in, which is what they did. And it was great, and the point was well taken," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said on “Fox & Friends.”

From Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Police killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick Pelosi says George Floyd was 'murdered on TV' MORE (D-Minn): “This is what happens when people elect members more interested in media hits than the protection of our national security ‍♀️ FYI to everyone who is concerned about my security clearances, I at least know to not bring my cell phones to SCIF and follow protocol.”

From Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzTrump signs order targeting social media firms' legal protections Trump to order review of law protecting social media firms after Twitter spat: report On The Money: US tops 100,000 coronavirus deaths with no end in sight | How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response | Tenants fear mass evictions MORE (R-Fla.), a vocal Trump supporter: "If we had rules, [Speaker] Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers MORE would have put this issue to a vote and established rules. But the Democrats want to preserve the most operational flexibility. So if they're going to have a world with no rules, we got to stop thinking that we can use the Marquis of Queensbury rules of engagement when we’re fighting against an angry pack of rabid hyenas. And that’s what we’re facing.”


How to take out the mind flayer: 

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, allies of President Trump in the Senate are trying to figure out how to quickly quash the impeachment articles if they pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The two options for Republicans in the Senate: “Republicans, who believe it is likely the House will impeach Trump, are weighing what is best for their party: a rapid dismissal of impeachment or a vote to acquit Trump after a trial. Sixty-seven votes are needed to convict a president.”

How this could play out:



Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “Republican schisms over President Trump are growing deeper as new details emerge about his actions on Ukraine and Democrats push hard for impeachment.”


Interesting read — where independent voters stand on impeachment:

Via The Hill’s Jonathan Easley, “New polls are finding independent voters increasingly supportive of impeachment, the latest sign of trouble for President Trump as he struggles to defend himself only 13 months out from Election Day.”

For example — here’s one poll: “The latest Quinnipiac University survey found overall support for House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry reaching its highest level yet, at 55 percent, up 4 points from last week. The change was almost entirely driven by a 16-point swing in favor of the investigation among self-described independents.” 

Why some Democrats are optimistic: “Those results have Democrats cautiously optimistic that their message on impeachment is resonating and potentially setting their eventual nominee up to land the knockout blow against Trump in the general election next year.”

Why some Democrats are pessimistic: “But not all Democrats are convinced the impeachment process is helping them. Some remain deeply skeptical that the Ukraine controversy will punch through among ordinary Americans, believing that impeachment does not register as a top issue and that Trump has weathered countless other controversies with his base of support fully intact.”



GOP senators grumble: ‘Who’s the newbie?’:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyCoronavirus and America's economic miracle Former Romney strategist joins anti-Trump Lincoln Project Romney defends Joe Scarborough, staffer's widower: 'Enough already' MORE’s (R-Utah) public battles with President Trump are taking a toll on his relationship with fellow GOP senators, with many resenting the implication that they’re afraid of standing up to the president.”

Romney’s role: “Romney has replaced retired Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane Flake'Never Trump' Republicans: Fringe, or force to be reckoned with? The Memo: Can the Never Trumpers succeed? Former GOP Sen. Jeff Flake says he will not vote for Trump MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRomney is only GOP senator not on new White House coronavirus task force McConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' MORE (R-Tenn.) as the go-to senator for voicing dissension within the Senate GOP ranks when Trump finds himself in hot water.” 

Meaning: “That distinction has made Romney one of the most high-profile freshman Republican senators in recent years, but it has also fueled grumbling among his colleagues.” 

For example — from­ Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeBipartisan Senate panel leaders back fund to deter China The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter Justice Department closing stock investigations into Loeffler, Inhofe, Feinstein MORE (R-Okla.), one of Trump’s biggest defenders: “Because one election didn’t turn out the way that Mitt wanted it to turn out, he’s critical of the president. ... So, I’m not pleased with it.”


Happening today — Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsThe Postal Service collapse that isn't happening House Democrat reintroduces bill to reduce lobbyist influence The Hill's Campaign Report: Amash moves toward Libertarian presidential bid MORE lies in state: 

The casket of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) arrived at the U.S. Capitol this morning for a day of remembrance.

Spotted at the Capitol for the service: “Former Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTwitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why Lobbying world John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America MORE, Rev. Al Sharpton and former Oversight Chairman Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaGOP sues California over Newsom's vote-by-mail order Conservative group files challenge to California vote-by-mail order New poll shows tight race in key California House race MORE.” (Via Politico’s Melanie Zanona

Photo of the procession:



10:30 a.m. EDT: A ceremony was held when the casket arrived at the U.S. Capitol. Livestream:

1–7 p.m. EDT: Cummings’s body lies in state at the U.S. Capitol. Livestream:

Tomorrow: The funeral in Baltimore. A few of the speakers: Former Presidents Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPolice killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick Don't applaud Twitter for flagging one tweet How Obama just endorsed Trump MORE and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTop Democratic pollster advised Biden campaign to pick Warren as VP How Obama just endorsed Trump Trump, Biden signal how ugly the campaign will be MORE, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTop Democratic pollster advised Biden campaign to pick Warren as VP Longtime Democratic pollster: Warren 'obvious solution' for Biden's VP pick How Obama just endorsed Trump MORE 



Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump to return to Florida for rescheduled SpaceX launch Pence names new press secretary House leaders take vote-counting operations online MORE (R-N.C.), a founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, gave a tribute to the late Elijah Cummings and said those who thought their friendship was surprising did not know Cummings well.

In Meadows’s words: “We are called to give honor where honor is due, so it is fitting that we are here today to honor a friend. He's called a number of things, father, husband, friend, chairman. For me, I was privileged enough to be able to call him a dear friend. Some have classified it as an unexpected friendship, but for those of us that know Elijah, it's not unexpected or surprising.”

Watch Meadows's full remarks: Starting at 57:10. 



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Oh wow this is funny:


It’s only 15 seconds. Trust me, it’s worth watching: Video:



The House is out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

Noon: The Senate holds a cloture vote on a nomination. The Senate’s full schedule today:

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in the Diwali Ceremonial Lighting of the Diya.

4:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Roger Penske.

Tomorrow: Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak at the funeral of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in Baltimore. Details from The Baltimore Sun:

Nov. 20: The next Democratic presidential primary debate. Tidbit: An all-female panel will moderate this debate.



10:30 a.m. EDT: A ceremony for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) at the U.S. Capitol. Livestream:

11:25 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence spoke at the Frederic V. Malek Memorial Lecture in Washington, D.C. Livestream:

1 – 7 p.m. EDT: The late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) lies in state at the U.S. Capitol. Livestream:

2 p.m. EDT: Presidential candidate Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson touts endorsements for progressive congressional candidates The Hill's 12:30 Report: Warren becomes latest 2020 rival to back Biden The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden looks to stretch lead in Tuesday contests MORE outlines her plan to create a Cabinet-level Department of Peace. Livestream:

7:30 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. PDT Sunday: CBS’s Norah O’Donnell interviews former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign cancels fundraiser with Mueller prosecutor Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation MORE and his wife, Jill Biden, for “60 Minutes.” 



Today is National Bologna Day.


Simone Biles is a national treasure:

Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles threw the first pitch last night at the World Series. Video of her backflip twist from a standing position — nbd:


And because you made it to the end, here’s a moose enjoying the generous “snack” that a family put out for him: